Porsche Cayenne Off-Roading Experience
The Porsche Cayenne and Macan displayed their off-road capabilities at the adventure trail
Life is full of surprises. Just when you think you’re going to have a monotonous Friday again, an email pops up asking you if you’d be interested in doing some off-road antics with a couple of Porsches. Well, I thought, why not go and check out how capable the Cayenne and Macan are off the road? So there I landed at the Porsche Centre Mumbai where a gleaming fleet of Cayennes and Macans were waiting, ready to take us to a custom off-road track that was built a bit away from the dealership.
I was allotted the Porsche Cayenne diesel while I really wanted the GTS. However, the Cayenne diesel itself has quite a lot of character as we saw during the later stages of the day. The Porsche Cayenne diesel is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine that belts out 245 horses at 4400 RPM and 550 Nm of twist at 2750 RPM. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic tranny and the SUV also gets AWD and a full-blown off-road mode which we got to experience later.
The Cayenne diesel is a hoot to drive but the GTS would’ve made things better
We took the cars out and headed towards Bandra via the infamous Sea Link. The Cayenne is quite huge for our roads and hence it takes some time getting used to its dimensions. Finding the perfect driving position isn’t that difficult and all-round visibility is pretty decent too. The centre console gets a ton of buttons for a lot of different functions. Out on the road, the Cayenne just drives beautifully with the diesel engine providing a lot of grunt. It handles very nicely and you get to play around with the ride height and also choose from different driving modes like Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
While we really couldn’t test the car properly on tarmac, the SUV did impress with its impeccable handling characteristics. Soon we entered our designated off-road trail where instructors from Off-Road Junkie (an off-road event company) explained to us the track and also gave us tips on how to tackle each obstacle. The track was slightly challenging and it wasn’t as easy as we expected it to be. For the first lap, I sat shotgun in the Cayenne while a colleague from another publication took to the wheel.
Finally I was at the wheel and the first part of the track had a short acceleration and braking section. We had to go flat out on the throttle before coming to a screeching halt at the end. Then there was a steep incline which the Cayenne easily climbed after engaging off-road mode. While coming down, the marshals suggested we use Hill Descent Control to maintain a consistent pace. Then there was a section of rumblers and then came another sideways incline which I think was the most thrilling part of the entire trail.
The Cayenne is definitely the more capable Porsche compared to the Macan
Once these sections were completed, there were a couple of steep inclines and declines while at the end of the trail was a section of alternatively placed inclines so that we could experience a couple of ‘wheel in the air’ moments. The Cayenne proved itself to be a very capable SUV off the road and it was pure fun tackling the trail in it.
On offer was the Macan too which is compact and smaller than the Cayenne and hence it boasts of a very good power-to-weight ratio. While I really couldn’t experience the Macan thoroughly, I did concur that it is far more fun to drive and churns out a lot of drama but its lower ground clearance can be a dampener on extreme off-road conditions. So while the Macan may be more fun to drive on smooth tarmac, it is the Cayenne which is the better performer in off-road situations.